Mother's Day Kitchen Gifts“Less work for Mother” was the motto of the fifties, but why can’t it be the motto of today’s busy working Mom? I have found a few cooking toys to make Mom’s work less, and a few wonderful books to enhance her culinary library.

SmartShopper SS-301 Voice-Recognition Grocery-List Organizer (Amazon) This item is for me big time! I am a list maker and this voice-activated way to create and print grocery and errand lists is right up my organized alley. It has a user-friendly control panel that can be kept on the refrigerator door or any other central location. Just press the record button and say the item out loud for hands-free operation. There are over 2500+ items stored in the SmartShopper, so you should be good to go to the grocery store armed with your printed out lists.

Delonghi EMK6 Alicia Electric Moka Espresso Coffee Maker (Amazon) This convenient small espresso pot requires just a few simple steps to deliver three to six cups of authentic Italian espresso. With an automatic shut off feature, the coffee will remain hot for 30 minutes longer. It has a cool touch handle for safety and takes up very little counter space.

Bodum Latte Battery Operated Milk Frother and Light Mixer with Plastic Beaker, 0.2 L, 6-Ounce, Green (Amazon) Now you can have your own Starbucks Lattes at home in seconds! The frother works particularly well with fat-free milk to make delicious hot drinks. It can also double as a blender maker or it can whip up your favorite salad dressing in seconds.

Chef’S Planet Measuring Colander, White (Amazon) Here’s a great way to nail down portion control. The draining holes in this colorful colander double as measuring lines in both pint and cup measurements. Now you can measure your pasta without over indulging on carbs!

Chef’s Planet Green Prep Taxi Measuring Scoop (Amazon) Another neat product which scoops and measures in one swift motion. You can measure one or two cups in a simple scoop.

Molecular Gastronomy Kit (Amazon) This super kit contains everything you need to be a Top Chef groupie! We’ve seen chefs on TV using mysterious chemicals and concoctions. The algae extracts and other texturing agents in the kit help you to create original dishes that burst in the mouth and stimulate your palate.

Tea-Boy Penguin Tea Timer (Amazon) A great idea for tea lovers! The Penguin Tea Timer gives you perfectly brewed tea every time with a built in timer which automatically lifts the teabag out of the cup. It is a fun gadget and a perfect Mom’s day gift to make her life easy.

Oransi Ionic Fridge Air Purifier (Amazon) Now you can clean the air in your refrigerator avoiding musty cheese and fish smells. The Oransi had no fan, no noise, no filters or boxes of baking soda to replace. The Fridge Air Purifier intuitively cleans the air in your refrigerator cycling on and off and allowing for a high negative ion output to freshen your refrigerator without the harmful side effects of ozone found in standard ionizers.

BOOKS:

My Father’s Daughter: Delicious, Easy Recipes Celebrating Family & Togetherness by Gwyneth Paltrow (Amazon) My husband and I had the pleasure of knowing Gwyneth’s father, the constantly missed Bruce Paltrow. I got a chance to feed him some comforting pasta risotto when he needed it while struggling with his health. Gwyneth has done her father proud. She has inherited Bruce’s passion for food and interpreted it in this charming volume. This satisfying volume contains such mouth-watering recipes as turkey BLTs; sweet potato ravioli; or a yummy challah French toast, and highlights are vegetarian specialties like fried rice with kale and scallions.

Plenty: Vibrant Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi by Yotam Ottolenghi (Amazon) When Plenty was published in the UK last year, it became an overnight sensation. With 120 recipes from Yotam Ottolenghi, vegetarian columnist for the Guardian, and owner of four fabulous haute-couture to go shops in London, Plenty takes you to a new place in thinking about the flavors of vegetables. I can’t wait to try smoky frittata (with scamorza, smoked paprika, and cauliflower); saffron tagliatelle with spiced butter: caramelized fennel with goat cheese; and figs with basil, goat cheese, and pomegranate vinaigrette.

Saveur New American Comfort Food Edited by James Oseland (Amazon) Comfort foods comes in many incarnations. We crave comfort food when we are down and we crave comfort food when we are happy. Now in Saveur New American Comfort Food, we have a collection of over one-hundred of the world’s most satisfying dishes including: the ultimate grilled cheese sandwich: matzo ball soup; baked ziti with sausage; chicken paprikash with dumplings; and ice cream with butterscotch sauce.

Maida Heatter’s Cakes by Maida Heatter (Amazon) Maida Heatter is my go to person to learn a new dessert. Her step-by step instructions enable even the most inept bakers to create masterpiece cakes. First published in 1997, Maida Heatter’s Cakes has never gone out of style. It is still an awesome cake bible.

At Elizabeth David’s Table: Her Very Best Everyday Recipes by Elizabeth David (Amazon) I grew up cooking from Elizabeth David’s no-fail cookbooks. Now, for the first time, Elizabeth David’s fabulous recipes are collected in one richly illustrated volume. Recipes that I have cherished including Mussel soup (zuppa di cozze); stewed white beans (fasoÅ«lia); beef and wine stew with black olives (boeuf à la gardiane); and St. Émilion au chocolat are all in full color photographs for the making.

Heartland: The Cookbook by Judith Fertig (Amazon) The farm-to-table movement is happening all over America. The Midwest, however has been living off the land since the pioneer days. Ms. Fertig combines contemporary cooking with authenticity to local ingredients in a warm and inviting compendium of recipes. Winterberry breakfast pudding; grilled vegetable bundles; summertime zucchini, yellow squash, and red bell pepper salad; grilled duck breast with wild rice-dried cherry pilaf; and Red-Haven peach crisp with almond-oat streusel all make your mouth water and your comfort level on a new high.

The Food of Spain by Claudia Roden (Amazon) Award winning author, Claudia Roden illuminates Spanish Cuisine in her new cookbook. Years of research culminate in this beautiful and elaborate (over 200 recipe/600 full-color photograph) volume. Recipes include orange salad (ensalada de naranja – Andalusia); roasted whole bream with potatoes (besugo al borno con patatas – Madrid); garlic chicken (pollo al ajillo-castile- La Mancha); and rice pudding (arroz con leche- Navarre).

Cooking in the Moment: A Year of Seasonal Recipes by Andrea Reusing (Amazon) Author Reusing merges sustainable, seasonal, local eating with the reality of home cooking into a book that focuses on one meal at a time. Seasonality is evident in recipes like warm fresh mozzarella with grits, grilled radicchio, and balsamic; hard cider-braised pork shoulder; and juicy Satsuma orange cake.

Slow Cooker Revolution Edited by the Editors at America’s Test Kitchen (Amazon) Busy working Mom’s are going back to using Slow Cookers. This new paperback cookbook is filled with ideas and tips for creating some unique and fun dinners. I love the turkey and wild rice soup; homey chicken stew; pork chops with dried fruit compote; and rum raisin bread pudding.

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